Banauan Cultural Group is a group of performers that is a cornerstone of cultural preservation rooted in the storied past of Guadalupe

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Banauan Cultural Group is a group of performers that is a cornerstone of cultural preservation rooted in the storied past of Guadalupe. Bearing the namesake of Banawan “Tara adto ta sa Banawan” translated as “Let’s go to the flooded area,” this phrase carries a nostalgic resonance, harkening back to Guadalupe’s resilience in the face of adversity. Interestingly, there is now a part of Guadalupe called Banawa, echoing the spirit of the old Banawan while symbolizing the community’s triumph over its challenges.

Founded with a vision to celebrate and share Guadalupe’s cultural heritage, the Banauan Cultural Group has faced financial challenges that are common among cultural groups. Yet, through the generosity of sponsors like Mr. Deo and Mrs. Mia Gacasan, they have overcome setbacks to express their devotion through performances, shaping their identity and impact today. Their affiliation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) underscores their commitment to cultural preservation and excellence. As custodians of tradition, they meticulously craft performances that not only entertain but also educate and inspire. At the heart of their repertoire lies the Cariñosa de Guadalupe, a dance emblematic of courtship and the lively spirit of the community. This hallmark performance, alongside other cultural spectacles, has captivated audiences. 

The Banauan Cultural Group reached its pinnacle in early 2024, seizing numerous opportunities that came their way. Their journey to prominence began in 2017 when they entered the prestigious Sinulog Festival with the aim of clinching victory. Their debut performance propelled them into the top echelons of the competition, securing a commendable 3rd place among the top 5 contenders. Building on this success, the group continued to excel in subsequent years. In 2018, they solidified their position by placing 4th, followed by an impressive 2nd place finish in 2019. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic in 2020, they maintained their momentum and secured another 3rd place finish. Undeterred by setbacks, the group is determined to reclaim the top spot in the upcoming competition. 

Moreover, the Banauan Cultural Group’s achievements extend beyond the Sinulog Festival. They have emerged victorious in other prestigious events such as the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, Sinulog Grand Parade, and Sinulog sa Carmen, showcasing their versatility and talent on various stages. Their excellence has earned them the honor of representing Cebu City at the upcoming Aliwan Festival in Manila.

Beyond their artistic endeavors, the Banauan Cultural Group remains steadfast in their commitment to philanthropy, especially in times of pandemics and disasters such as fire incidents. They actively engage in donation drives and disaster relief efforts, extending a helping hand to those in need. This selfless spirit further strengthens their bond, forged through shared experiences both on and off the stage, nurturing a profound sense of camaraderie and unity among members. Steering this cultural revival is their Barangay Captain, the Honorable Apol Ross Enriquez, whose leadership and vision propel the group toward greater aspirations. With unwavering dedication, they continue to inspire the next generation, highlighting the importance of cultural preservation and community engagement. Their efforts transcend mere performance, serving as a beacon of hope and fortitude within the locale.

Despite facing criticism and obstacles, the Banauan Cultural Group perseveres in their mission to showcase the magnificence of Cebu’s festivals and foster a profound sense of cultural appreciation. Through their performances, they not only entertain but also enlighten, integrating stories of history and faith into their artistic expression. As they dance in reverence to Senior Sto. Niño and offer gratitude to the divine Mama Mary, the Banauan Cultural Group embodies the essence of devotion and celebration. Their performances stand as a testament to Guadalupe’s enduring legacy, ensuring that its cultural heritage remains cherished for generations to come.

Moreover, the exposure garnered by the Banauan Cultural Group has sparked a surge of interest among the youth, with many aspiring to join the ranks of this esteemed ensemble. The inclusive and nurturing environment cultivated within the group fosters not only growth but also deep bonds of familial love among its members, transcending beyond being merely a performance ensemble to become a tight-knit family. They are united by a shared passion for honoring and celebrating the cultural richness of Guadalupe. In the words of their representative, Kaye Thompson Cabajar, “We dance to express and to showcase to the world that Cebu is the best, heralding the grandest festivals. Our performances embody the vitality and abundance of Cebuano culture, leaving an indelible mark on audiences near and far.”

Furthermore, the Banauan Cultural Group distinguishes itself by employing a dedicated team for their choreography, led by Honorable Cliff Yunson Racuya alongside their esteemed dance masters, Joshua Bebs Anciano and Caine Lesther Aniban. Together, they meticulously craft each step to be a unique reflection of Guadalupe’s history. Guided by their artistic directors, John Guaren, Mielvin Dale Tecson, Andro Banate, and Carlo Dean Sagrado, the group ensures that every performance is not only captivating but also authentic. Their collective expertise and commitment set them apart from other festival groups, solidifying their reputation as stewards of tradition and innovation. With this meticulous attention to detail and the direction of their esteemed team, the Banauan Cultural Group continues to showcase the cultural abundance of Guadalupe with unparalleled artistry and flair.